As most people know, I’m a digital hoarder. I never delete anything. I have around 4.6 terabytes of data stored in my Google Drive alone. That’s cool and all but it becomes interesting when I start looking at backup solutions for my data. One of the best solutions out there (in my opinion) for data archiving and data backup is yet another product from Amazon Web Services called Amazon Glacier.
Glacier let’s you store your data securely for a whopping $0.004/gb/month, however there are drawbacks. Since this service is meant for data archiving, it is stored in what’s known as “cold storage” meaning your data is not accessible on-demand. Instead, you (or more likely, your application) will tell Glacier that you would like to download a certain file from your “vault” (your archive) and then 3-5 hours later (unless you pay for expedited), your application will receive a notification that your file is ready for it to download and it has 24 hours to do so.
Another catch is that even though it will let you download the entirety of your vault as fast as you can download it, it will cost you. To get your data back out of Glacier, it costs an additional $0.0025-$0.03/gb. That may not sound like a lot but when we get to talking about terabytes or petabytes of data, it adds up quick.
To sum up, I still think that Amazon Glacier is a great product if used correctly. For instance, if by law your organization is mandated to keep archives for x number of years and you know the chances of actually having to dig them up one day is slim? Glacier is perfect. Or as a last resort backup, meaning you have two or three other backups you can try to extract your data from before you have to dig into Glacier, then yeah.